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SDAO Continues Leadership on Special Districts Provide Essential Services Act

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate entered their traditional August recess without a deal on a COVID-19 relief package. Negotiations between Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill and the Trump Administration remain at an impasse following a $1 trillion proposal from Senate Republicans that fell short of Democratic leadership’s benchmarks on key programs within the $3.4 trillion House-passed HEROES Act.

SDAO, along with National Special District Coalition partners, is communicating with key legislative offices on Capitol Hill during this August recess, and has developed a support coalition of more than 75 special district stakeholder organizations across the country.

Another Senate GOP proposal is emerging. Reportedly, the potential $500 billion package may include $105 billion for schools, $10 billion for the U.S. Postal Service (in loan forgiveness), $45 billion in vaccine development and COVID-19 testing, and a $300/week supplement provision for Americans receiving unemployment benefits. Thus far, there have been no mentions of additional state and local funds associated with the latest GOP proposal, a reversion from the $200 billion state and local aid concession discussed during earlier negotiations.

Prior to the August recess, the House lumped 10 of the 12 appropriations measures into two separate bills and passed each. These are currently pending in the Senate. Left out of the two omnibus measures are appropriations for homeland security and the legislative branch. Stay tuned for whether COVID-19 relief is woven into either of these measures and negotiated further.

What does this mean for the Special Districts Provide Essential Services Act?
It means we have been granted time. SDAO continues working with its National Special Districts Coalition partners and special districts stakeholders across the country to continue momentum and engagement with the U.S. Congress. This 75-member support coalition is engaging with key Senate Finance Committee members and COVID-19 relief negotiators.

We will continue to keep you updated on this and other COVID-19 relief advocacy measures.

This information was provided by California Special Districts Association.